St. Paul firefighter collapses and dies while on duty

A St. Paul firefighter and paramedic died while on the job Monday evening. The St. Paul Fire Department says 38-year-old Shane Clifton collapsed while on duty at Firehouse 14 shortly after 5 p.m. He was treated on scene by paramedics before being rushed to Regions Hospital where he died a few hours later.

"He was on duty working at Fire Station No. 14. 111 Snelling Ave. N. just after 5 p.m. this evening when he suddenly wasn’t feeling well, then he collapsed," a statement from the fire department said. "He was treated by his fellow firefighters, EMTs and paramedics on Medic 10, Medic 14, and Rescue Squad 2 and transported to Regions Hospital. Regions Hospital staff worked feverishly for several hours to save his life."

Clifton was a U.S. Navy veteran who also worked for Unity Hospital in Fridley and Allina before joining the St. Paul Fire Department in 2007.

“We’re not supposed to be working on our own. We’re here to saves lives,” said Local 21 president Mike Smith. “I can tell you the crews that worked on him are devastated. To work on one of your own brothers, I can’t tell you how hard it is.”

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman ordered the lowering of all flags at city facilities to half-staff Tuesday in honor of Shane Clifton.

“I know that this a tremendous loss to all his fellow firefighters, his comrades in the city of St. Paul that work so hard an side-by-side with him,” Mayor Coleman said.